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Turkey Talk: All You Need to Know about Thanksgiving Trivia

Let’s Talk Turkey

I love Turkey Talk and Trivia! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year – and we celebrate big at our house.  Thankfully, an entire day dedicated to eating and family time make the perfect holiday.  In our home, we start the day with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, then gather around the table to roll out lots of sausage cheese balls, a family tradition.  Then, we enjoy a casual lunch of the best ham and Swiss sliders, while continuing to prep for dinner. Everyone gathers in the kitchen to help – and I love the big family chaos that ensues.

Conversation, time together, and football on the TV makes our day relaxed and casual.  I do 90% of the work before Thanksgiving arrives, so that I can enjoy the day along with the last-minute preparations. When it’s finally time to sit down with our meal, I am so grateful for family, for the food, and for time to share.

Game Time

In the midst of our family time, we love playing games and we enjoy trivia. We’ve gathered up 44 quirky turkey talk facts and cool historical nuggets just for your celebration this year.  You can use these questions while gathered around the table or as an after-dinner Thanksgiving game.  Or, you can just browse through these fun facts and challenge your Turkey Day IQ. Turkey Talk and Trivia make our gatherings more interesting with a sprinkle of new-found knowledge about the holiday.  So, let the games and the fun begin!

 turkey talk

So can you talk turkey?  Do you know…

What town actually postponed Thanksgiving because of pumpkin pie? 

In 1705, the town of Colchester, Connecticut was extremely dedicated to their dessert.  Believe it or not, they elected to postpone the holiday because foul weather had interfered with their molasses shipment.  They couldn’t make pumpkin pie without molasses, and without pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same.  

What are the favorite destinations for Americans who travel for Thanksgiving?   

Statistically, more than 55 million Americans typically travel on Thanksgiving, according to AAA. But where do they all go?  Topping the list as the  most popular travel destination in the USA is Orlando, FL.  Next would be Anaheim, California, and in third place is Las Vegas, Nevada, based on booking information.

Why do people break the turkey wishbone at the dinner table on Thanksgiving?

Granted, this ancient tradition dates back to the Etruscans.  First, they snapped chicken bones, dried them in the sun, and afterwards they used them as good luck charms.  Now, tradition holds that the person who snaps the larger piece of the wishbone gets to make a wish, and then will have good luck all year.

turkey talk

The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for a certain profession.  Do you know what it is?  

According to Roto-Rooter, the day after “turkey-day” is a  PLUMBER’S busiest day of the year. Furthermore, it is NOT a good idea to pour your cooking oil down the drain.

How many pounds of turkey do Americans eat every Thanksgiving?

Amazingly, Americans serve around 44 million turkeys at Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. In comparison, we consume 22 million pounds at Christmas and 19 million pounds at Easter. The average bird weighs 16 pounds. Consequently, we’re gobbling up 704 million pounds of turkey across the country!

A particular company offers a holiday hotline to assist holiday cookers. Founded in 1981, what is the company? 

Thankfully, Butterball has a hotline which answers over 100,000 turkey related questions every year during November and December.  With this intention, that makes Butterball the expert of turkey talk!

Do female turkeys gobble?

Ironically, only male turkeys gobble. Instead, female turkeys cackle, purr, and yelp, depending on the situation.

turkey talk

What president temporarily changed the date of Thanksgiving?

It should be noted that in the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving and moved it forward a week. That year, it originally fell on November 30th and he wanted to allow additional time for shopping before Christmas.  Unsurprisingly, this sparked intense public reaction and the date was never adjusted again.

What was the first large scale balloon used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? 

Felix the Cat was the first large-scale balloon used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927.  This replaced the earlier (and smaller) zoo animals which were used in the first three years of the parade. However, most were simply allowed to float up, up, and away since there were no plans for deflating the balloons.

Why were size regulations placed on balloons for the Thanksgiving Day Parade?

In 1997, strong winds ripped open the Barney balloon while the Pink Panther had to be stabbed by police in order to be stabilized. Moreover, the worst event occurred when the Cat in the Hat struck a lamppost at 72nd Street and then crumpled to the ground. Subsequently, parade organizers created size regulations. In response to these 1997 calamities, no balloons can be larger than 70 feet high, 78 feet long, or 40 feet wide.

How many people attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York each year? 

Amazingly, over 3.5 million people attend the parade every single year according to Macy’s.

 turkey talk

When did Macy’s begin their Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition?

The parade began in 1924, making it impressively almost 100 years old.  

How do you know when the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is over?

Last but not least, Santa arrives on the final float to complete the parade. This declares the Christmas season officially open.

What is the most popular Thanksgiving Drink?

Half of all households serve red wine with Thanksgiving Dinner, according to a survey by Drizly, an alcohol delivery service. In contrast, only 10% serve white wines.  The rest of us turkey talkers are pouring sweet tea – or something else

What is the most popular day of the year for racing?

Ironically, Thanksgiving is the most popular holiday to race, reported by Runners World.  More than one million people participate in more than 1,300 races in the USA annually – making Thanksgiving the largest race day of the entire year.  Can anyone say “Turkey Trot?”

turkey talk

What is the largest pumpkin pie on record?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest pumpkin pie was made in 2010 by the New Bremem Giant Pumpkin Growers.  Following, it was displayed at their local pumpkin fest.  In total, the pie weighed 3699 pounds and measured 20 feet in diameter. Further, that pie still holds the title, all these years later.   

What movie holds the record for the highest-grossing weekend in Thanksgiving history?

Amazingly, “Frozen 2” grossed over 1,285,000,000.  (Yes, that is over a BILLION.)

To turkey talk properly, what are adult females and male turkeys called?

A female turkey is called a HEN and males are called TOMS.

Which U.S. president was the first to officially pardon a turkey? 

George H.W. Bush “Presented a Presidential Pardon” to a “fine tom turkey” — and it’s been an annual tradition since 1989.

What are Americans most thankful for?

The majority of Americans, based on a variety of polls, are thankful for family (88%), health (77%), personal freedoms (72%) and friends (71%).

turkey talk
True or False: Thanksgiving is the busiest travel holiday of the year. 

As a rule, this one is false. Usually, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the busiest time for travel. Significantly, more than 90 to 100 million Americans travel during that time, according to AAA.

What is the favorite Thanksgiving side dish for Americans? 

Stuffing/dressing is the winner, of course!

What are the top ten most popular Thanksgiving foods? 

Decidedly, these are the favorites in order of popularity: Turkey, stuffing/dressing, and thirdly, mashed potatoes and gravy. Additionally, rolls/bread, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, apple pie, cranberry sauce, and corn were on the list. This information was based on a survey by the National Grocers Association.

How many places in the U.S. have the word “turkey” in their name? 

Seven places contain the word “Turkey” per the U.S. Census Bureau. They are Turkey City, Texas, Turkey Creek, Arizona, Turkey Creek, Arkansas,  and Turkey Creek, Kansas.  Also on the list are Turkey Creek, Louisiana, Turkey, North Carolina, and Turkey Valley, South Dakota…you know they’re famous for their turkey talk!

 turkey talk

Did the Pilgrims wear buckles on their hats and shoes?

Despite popular belief, this is a complete myth.  In fact, buckles were not even in fashion in the early 17th century.

What household hazard triples on Thanksgiving? 

In general, fires are the largest threat to Thanksgiving season. Specifically, there are more than three times the daily average calls about home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day, based on information from the National Fire Protection Association.  

How did Thanksgiving come to be observed on a specific day?

On Oct. 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation stating the last Thursday in November would be a day of thanksgiving for the nation.

How long can a turkey be stored in the freezer? 

In the case of an unopened whole turkey, it can be frozen for up to two years, according to Butterball.  Now this is valuable turkey talk!

When is the worst time to travel for Thanksgiving? 

According to AAA, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving between noon and 8:00 p.m. is the worst time to travel.

In what year was the first NFL game played on Thanksgiving Day?

The first NFL game on Thanksgiving Day was played in 1920.

Which two NFL teams have played a game on Thanksgiving Day yearly since 1966? 

Traditionally, the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys play on Thanksgiving Day.

How many people shop on Thanksgiving weekend?

As revealed by the National Retail Federation, more than 196.7 million consumers are shopping over Thanksgiving! Wow!! 

What was on the menu for the first Thanksgiving?

Ironically, turkey wasn’t served.  Most likely, the menu consisted of venison, goose, duck, fish, and porridge, or bread made from corn.

True or False: The Pilgrims referred to themselves as “Pilgrims.”

Of course, this is false. They called themselves  “Separatists.”

Which U.S. state produces the most turkeys?

The ‘turkey-ist” state in the union is Minnesota. Clearly, turkey talk is common there!

What popular Thanksgiving side dish was created by Campbell’s Soup in 1955?

Thankfully, Campbell’s developed one of our favorites, the Green Bean Casserole.

How many feathers does a mature turkey have?

Mature turkeys have approximately 3,500 feathers.

How many tail feathers does a turkey have?

Likewise, turkeys have 18 tail feathers.

How many passengers were on the Mayflower?

There were 102 people aboard, historically stated.

How fast can a wild turkey run?

Run, turkey, run! Turkeys can move up to 20 miles per hour. Shocking!

What are turkey babies called?

Specifically, wild turkey babies are called “chicks,” while domesticated turkey babies are called “pults” or “turkeylings.”

Which state produces the most cranberries? 

Wisconsin is the top cranberry producer in the United States at about 4.84 million barrels per year.  Following Wisconsin is Massachusetts with 2.6 million barrels of cranberries.   

What’s the record for the largest turkey ever raised?

Turkey Talk Record: This big bird weighed 86 pounds. 

What is the dangling skin under a turkey’s neck called?
This extra skin is called a wattle.


Thanksgiving is truly a special holiday – and I hope you have learned something new as we wrap up our journey through interesting turkey talk and trivia.  As you celebrate this season of gratitude, we pray that you and your family share warm memories, good health, and a fabulous start to the holiday season. 

We are so thankful for you and for our blog community.  We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.


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